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Review: Peak Design's Slide & Leash


Dallas

Last week I reviewed the Peak Design hand strap they call Clutch. This week I am taking a look at two of Peak Design’s camera straps, namely Leash and Slide. These are probably the most useful and versatile camera straps I’ve had the pleasure of using.

 

As I said in my review of Clutch, I really don’t like the neck straps you normally get when you buy a camera, mainly because they get in my way during packing my gear and are very uncomfortable to wear. The trouble with this approach when I am covering an event is that when I am using two cameras and I don’t have a strap to sling the unused camera over my shoulder, I either have to lay it at my feet or figure something else out.

 

Both Slide and Leash solve this problem by letting me wear my cameras “bandolier” style across my body. This is because they are both length adjustable, something you don’t get with a “default” neck strap. So, if I am wearing my second camera across my torso, I can easily put the primary camera in my right hand and slide the second one up to shoot using my right hand. Another major benefit of carrying your camera across your torso this way is that it doesn’t swing around while you are moving like a neck strap would. If you have to bend down to get something out of a bag, provided you have positioned your Leash or Slide strap so that your camera sits around waist height, it won’t dangle like it would if you were using a traditional neck strap. It works for me.

 

OK, so these two straps do similar things but each of them have their own unique features which may affect which of them you wish to purchase. First off let’s look at Slide.

EM1B7090.jpg

 

Slide is designed for large heavy DSLR’s or medium format rigs, but can be used on any camera if you are comfortable with the width of the strap. It’s 45mm across, so not exactly a thin strap. On either end you will find the Peak Design clips where you can slot in the Anchor Links that you will have looped through your cameras strap lug points, or if you have used the supplied ARCA style plate that comes with Slide, attach it to the bottom (it’s necessary to use that point if you want to use the “bandolier” style of wearing your camera). It goes on and off lickety split using those anchor links.

 

EM1A7227.jpgEM1B7096.jpg

 

Also on either side of the strap you will see buckles that have loops on them. These are what make Slide so easily adjustable. All you need to do is hook a finger in one of them and while bracing at the anchor point with one hand, tug up and the strap slides shorter. Pull down to make it longer. It really works well and makes this strap very easy to adjust quickly.

 

EM1A7222-m.jpg

 

If you look at the first photo of Slide above you will notice that the middle section of Slide is a little stiff looking. That’s because they have some padding in there as well as on the overside there is some rubberising for when you need to wear it on the shoulder and not have it slip off your shoulder. The stiff section isn’t as stiff as you’d think and its still possible to roll the strap up around your fist and not have it unravel (see pic above).

 

EM1B7098.jpg

 

Leash is a much thinner strap, measuring only 20mm across its breadth. It also has the Peak Design Anchor Link receivers on either end so if you have an extra Peak Design ARCA style plate you can also attach it to the bottom of your camera and use it bandolier style.

 

The main difference with Leash when compared to Slide is that it has only one length adjustment buckle, so the doubled up section of strap is much longer, which gives the impression that it isn’t as neat looking as Slide. On the buckle section of Leash there is also another Anchor Link, so you can create a loop on one side of the strap that you could attach to your belt if you were going climbing and wanted to make sure that your camera didn’t fall too far. Personally I’m not planning on doing any mountaineering with my cameras courtesy of an in-built personal safety feature that I have: I don’t do heights!

 

So which of these two straps should you choose? Well, Leash is great, but I think I prefer Slide on my Olympus E-M1. It just feels a little more refined than Leash. The good news is that Peak Design have announced that a revised version of Slide called SlideLITE which they designed specifically for smaller mirrorless cameras will be shipping really soon (like next month). It will be a bit thinner than Slide at 32mm and also dispenses with the internal padding I mentioned. I think I will definitely want one of those.

 

All in all these are very cool and worthwhile products for photographers looking for straps that do more than the uncool neck straps that came with your camera.

 

Click this link to order directly from Peak Design and support Fotozones.

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Funny....

Slide&Clutch arrived today.

One thing I noticed is that the Slide has a bit of silicone covering on one side.

If you want to have that side on our shoulder, the buckles are on th inside as well.

Not sure whether this has any impact at all, but it is a bit puzzling.

I'll use both attached to my D750 for my upcoming trip to Italy and report back how they work in real life.

cheers

afx

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The grippy side is for use as a shoulder strap, so you wouldn't need the buckles to change the length if you are wearing it that way. I guess they assume you have already have it at the length it needs to be when wearing it that way? 

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I made a change to the article above in that Leash does not come with the ARCA style plate. You would need to buy one to connect it to the bottom like you do with Slide. 

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I really like the attachment mechanism, but as usual for manufactured product the strap appears far too short to allow for my preferred carry position, namely strap on left shoulder and slung across body, camera at upper right thigh (in line with hand in relaxed arm position by side).

 

My current straps are adapted from those supplied by LowePro with their Technical Field pouches which can be slung similarly across body or mounted directly to their Technical Field vest or belt.

 

Once you carry a camera in that way it's very hard to go back to the awkward and neck-straining in front of body from neck position that short straps are designed for.

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The grippy side is for use as a shoulder strap, so you wouldn't need the buckles to change the length if you are wearing it that way. I guess they assume you have already have it at the length it needs to be when wearing it that way?

It's not so much about changing the length but more about where and weather the buckles touch.

And because of the rather fast buckle mechanism,

you can quickly switch between a long and a short strap.

I'll see how that works in practice....

 

 

I really like the attachment mechanism, but as usual for manufactured product the strap appears far too short to allow for my preferred carry position, namely strap on left shoulder and slung across body, camera at upper right thigh (in line with hand in relaxed arm position by side).

This is exactly what Leash is for, you can make it short enough for a regular shoulder/neck strap.

But it seems to be long enough even for my 2m frame to use bandolier style.

I've only played with it 5min last night, the real test will be the in the next few weeks.

cheers

afx

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I really like the attachment mechanism, but as usual for manufactured product the strap appears far too short to allow for my preferred carry position, namely strap on left shoulder and slung across body, camera at upper right thigh (in line with hand in relaxed arm position by side).

 

My current straps are adapted from those supplied by LowePro with their Technical Field pouches which can be slung similarly across body or mounted directly to their Technical Field vest or belt.

 

Once you carry a camera in that way it's very hard to go back to the awkward and neck-straining in front of body from neck position that short straps are designed for.

 

 

Actually Alan, these are perfect for wearing that way. It's very easy to adjust the length by using the buckle tabs you see in the shots I took. 

 

SlideLITE looks to be the perfect width for mirrorless cameras at 30mm, although the normal Slide is just fine on my E-M1 with battery grip. 

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By the photos the strap just didn't appear long enough. If I rolled my strap up like that it would have more than one extra loop compared to this - from attachment to attachment point adjusted for me my strap is 160cm long (and 40mm wide, the sliding pad is 280mm long and 60mm wide and at furthest adjustment the strap makes 180cm).

 

How long is the Slide strap at its furthest adjustment?

 

I'd be keen to get at least one even if just for that attachment mechanism, which looks a whole lot better and more secure than my cobbled-up dog clips and swivels.

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As I thought, too short for my use.

Hmm, I don't understand, I am 2m tall and it works for me, see attached image.

post-206-0-33923200-1443220193_thumb.jpg

cheers

afx

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That is a useless position for a camera.

Mine hangs at my side with the lens pointing 45° to the rear under my butt cheek, and the grip falling naturally to my palm with my hand by my side:

v4Ppabd.jpg

 

Grasping the camera correct for shooting when brought up to the eye without the strap twisting or fouling the camera is simply a matter of closing one's hand - no need to go gyrating and groping to get the camera. The strap as illustrated is 160cm long to achieve this.

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Ok, I understand.

I fear it would swing about too much in this position.

cheers

afx

 

Not at all, any more than a shoulder bag would worn to the side.

 

It tucks in behind my bum and there it stays, even with a smaller lens attached. I've been on rigorous untracked forest traverses with the camera (not just the Fuji X-Pro1 & X-T1 - I carried all my Nikon DSLRs that way, D70s, D2x, D3 & D3s) in this configuration and you forget it's there.

 

It does rely on having an L bracket, however, and using something like the RRS B2-FABN clamp which supplies three alternative strap mount points in order to have the camera hang properly from its off-side, but once hung like that it just stays put.

 

Hung like I have it, any longer lenses just ride your upper thigh up and down ever so slightly as you walk - you really don't know it's there, this being due to the fact that the actual mount point rests against your pelvis, which in itself keeps it stationary.

 

If you hang the camera in any other way than along the short off-side, however, the thing bounces and bangs around just as you mention. The hanging length is crucial, though - too long and it pendulums, too short and it interferes with the swing of your arm.

 

Equally it doesn't work if you put the strap on while the camera faces forward, even if it is hung on that edge. When putting the strap on I have the lens facing backwards, and while it settles into the illustrated position naturally, it does initially go against expectations when putting it on that way, but then it naturally faces forward when you grab it and bring it up to your eye. As you do so the strap merely hangs from the left side or bottom, depending whether landscape or portrait orientation is chosen, and more importantly it does not twist on itself in a manner that affects handling. Simply returning your arm to your side and letting go has the camera take up its behind-facing position.

 

Adjusted properly, it is the least strenuous way I have ever carried a camera.

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I like the quick-releasees at the camera end, and what appears to be quick and painless adjustment of length.

I'd want a longer version, not only because I normally carry bandolier style, but also on those rare occasions when I'm wearing bulky cold-weather clothing, all straps need to get way longer.

Extra points if the webbing isn't sandpaper on the skin.

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I like the quick-releasees at the camera end, and what appears to be quick and painless adjustment of length.

I'd want a longer version, not only because I normally carry bandolier style, but also on those rare occasions when I'm wearing bulky cold-weather clothing, all straps need to get way longer.

Extra points if the webbing isn't sandpaper on the skin.

 

Succinctly put.

 

Straps of nearly everything are always too short, which is why I use that LowePro strap which was barely long enough for its original intended purpose but suited the camera-carry perfectly. The attachment with lightly sprung clips was nowhere near secure enough for a camera, though, hence my cobbled-up arrangement - I would far rather have something like the clips in this product, which do away with the need for swivels with that loop arrangement and are nicely compact, which my home-made arrangement most certainly is not.

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Succinctly put.

 

Straps of nearly everything are always too short, which is why I use that LowePro strap which was barely long enough for its original intended purpose but suited the camera-carry perfectly. The attachment with lightly sprung clips was nowhere near secure enough for a camera, though, hence my cobbled-up arrangement - I would far rather have something like the clips in this product, which do away with the need for swivels with that loop arrangement and are nicely compact, which my home-made arrangement most certainly is not.

 

Actually Alan, you can have the clips on their own and if your strap has the typical end bits like other neck straps you can thread them through these nifty connectors and use the Anchor Links

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Unfortunately my strap has its dog clips and swivels sewn on. Cutting them off will make the strap too short (it's at its maximum adjustment as it is).

 

I might get around to one day getting all the bits (webbing, adjusters etc) to make up my own new strap with these clips, but it would be a lot handier if a proper manufacturer would at least make a longer option available, even if to special order.

 

I suppose that'll never happen, just as I forlornly wait for someone to make their shoulder bags out of waterproof materials instead of the stupid porous coarse nylon weaves most insist on using, along with the equally stupid detachable rain covers they all seem to supply to make up for their initial silly choice of those porous materials.... : :)

While it is still possible to get waterproof canvas bags, the things are always hideously expensive and largely of impractical design. Like....zips can be attached to canvas. : :) Buckles and fiddly webbing closure straps really aren't necessary any longer as they probably won't be used by the British Army in a 1942 Desert campaign.

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I think I will alert the guys at Peak Design to this thread. They might take something away from it - I know they are a responsive company. 

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Alan, Do you want to see 'cobbled up?'

Made completely from outdoor-camping store parts---except for the metal rings from the key duplicating shop.

It looks insane, but in fact has been reliable for decades.  

But adjusting the length involves painful fiddling, and it'd be nice if webbing was a touch wider(this was the only really smooth webbing I could find locally).

I'd love to have that soft nylon/neoprene material that OpTech and others use, but their straps are otherwise lame.

post-1086-0-36479800-1443462368_thumb.jppost-1086-0-09772700-1443463311_thumb.jp

Edited by pluton

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Camera straps are probably one of the most often "home-made" items I see around the traps.

 

Just like the current fad for almost useless porous camera bags, I simply cannot fathom why manufacturers have such a mental block in producing a simple, practical and universally versatile product.

 

The strap reviewed here is exactly one such example - great fastening system, great adjusting system, but the damn thing is just too short. There is no easy cure for that, either, save the thing is actually made longer in the first place.

 

I adopted my system of carrying the camera during the time I was doing a lot of weddings as my main business of restoration faltered under the onslaught of digital. Initially using the manufacturer's straps, I'd find myself in agony with neck and lower back pain about 8 hours into the wedding, often with still four or five hours to go. Carrying the camera low on the hip bandoleer-style solved that pain instantly. Now I'm not saying that all people would suffer pain from the standard short straps, but surely if a longer strap and different style of carry solved an occasion where it did cause pain, it points to there being a problem with the traditional method of carrying in the first place. Most other pros I see carry their camera slung from a shoulder, and there is good reason for this.

 

Obviously both camera and strap manufacturers ignore what pros do.... :)

 

This problem is not a new thing - the big and heavy Fuji GW690 film cameras from the '70's had two strap mounting points built into the off-side edge of the camera body, exactly where they're needed to carry a camera in this way. At least on that occasion the manufacturer actually thought the carry problem through properly.

 

The current method of just providing a point on each upper corner of the body which only makes sense for an around-the-neck chest carry makes getting that lower offside point one of adaptation which adds considerably to the weight of the camera, and could be completely avoided by at least providing that lower off-side point at manufacturing stage.

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Would be nice, Alan eh?  But in the meantime, my Op-Tech straps with their lengtheners work fine for my bandolier-type use.  Even works whilst carrying two cameras and a backpack!

 

The smooth inner surface makes it easy for the straps to slide to just the right position.

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I have been told that Peak Design are going to be making the Slide 6 inches longer for the larger guys but this will be phased in as the old stock sells out. They will also be making the newer Slide Summit straps longer too. 

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I purchased a PD Slide and also thought it to be too short, so I got in touch with a very nice lady called Jen at Peak Design and they have despatched an XLS type which is is six inches longer! I'll have to send the old one back to them but hey! 

 

Credit  where credit is due.

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      If I am working with my cameras and I don’t have my strap attached I invariably get asked by curious onlookers what those weird little red and black pill things are sticking off my camera. If I’m feeling playful I tell them that they are mood sensors and if they put it in their mouth for a second I will be able to read their mood through the camera. Or something equally ridiculous. Usually though I will tell them the truth. They’re Peak Design anchors for my camera straps, which allow me to remove the straps as easily as a Burlesque dancer removes hers.
       
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      As a professional photographer one thing I have come to despise over the years are camera neck straps. I find them cumbersome and clumsy. I much prefer to use hand straps as these allow you to hold the camera securely and for me they are a lot more comfortable than wrapping the neck strap around your wrist a few times.
       
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      The Clutch is a very clever design that prevents this from being a problem. Not only is the strap exceedingly simple to attach to your camera by using Peak’s patented quick release Anchor Links, its snugness can be adjusted really quickly, simply by lifting the buckle (which is cleverly situated on the outside of the grip, as opposed to the inside where most other manufacturers place it). This gives your wrist more room to move when making adjustments with your index finger and when you want the grip to be tighter you simply pull down on the adjustment strap. It is actually brilliantly simple design!
       

       

       
      Clutch comes with an ARCA style plate that attaches to the tripod socket of your camera and a couple of Anchor Links. Once you loop the top part of Clutch through your normal camera strap lug on top of the camera, you attach the bottom part to the plate using the Anchor Links. It goes on and comes off in a matter of seconds, unlike some of my other hand straps which require masterful disassembly and reassembly, one of which (made by Canon) I never quite got right the first time I took it off.
       

       

       
       
      Included in the packaging is a soft pouch (looks like a sunglasses case with a drawstring) that you can store it in, as well as a 4mm Alley Key with a key chain loop so that people like me who are forever losing these things can keep one attached to their camera bag (or bunch of keys).
       
      Stay tuned for reviews of Slide, Leash and Capture Pro in the weeks ahead, but in the meantime if you have any questions about Clutch please just pop them in the comments and I will address them.
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